In the 1950’s and '60’s, my father typically bought a new car every 3 years. I remember on every trip to bring one home, we made two stops; the first one was at Rayco to get the nice new upholstery covered with horrible clear plastic seatcovers, thus ensuring that the subsequent owners of the car would have nicer upholstery to sit on than we ever did, the second stop was at my cousin’s General Tire dealership to get the brand new tires replaced with a set of General Dual 90 tires. My father explained to me that he did this because the Dual 90’s were puncture proof. I’m curious what technology General employed to accomplish this, and why it’s not universally used today.
I used to like the smell of those seat covers though. Maybe they just used tubes in the tires?
I’d say General Dual 90 tires used the same technology that Uniroyal Royal Seal tires used. Tubeless tires with a liner of gooey stuff inside the tread area. Pick up a nail and it seals to the nail so no air leaks out. Back in the day, blowouts were not uncommon and low tire pressure was a cause.
I could see good and bad about that. If you picked up junk off the road, it would stay in the tire until someone actually searched for it. Since the tires didn’t lose air, no one would thing TO search for it. Maybe that’s why they are no longer available.
I found this promo video narrated by, I think, actor Darren McGavin. It has a real Dragnet feel to it!
Not a whole lot of information but somehow it looks like they called it a dual balloon, plus lower pressure. So maybe they had some kind of an inner core before the inner tube or something. Maybe our tire expert will know. Other than that, never heard of them. We would buy the tires from Gambles or Firestone when they were on sale.
Unfortunately, somebody at the tire shop sold your father a bill of goods–so to speak–because General Dual 90s of that era were NOT puncture-proof in a real sense–despite their claims. If you recall General’s advertising back in those days, they stated that the tire had “two treads”, and even that claim was… questionable… at best. The tread area had a depression separating it into two sections, and both sections were identical. If they were being honest, they would have said something like… The General Dual 90 has a depression separating the tread into two parts.
And, while this is surely anecdotal, back in the late '50s thru the '60s, my brother was friends with the son of the guy who owned the most active towing service in town. That guy claimed that he dealt with more flats and blow-outs from General Dual 90s than from any other single make & model of tire, and as a result he would not put them on his own cars.
More likely the Generals were more puncture resistant than the OEM. Many cars of that era came from the factory with two ply tires.
General may have called them puncture proof but that would more a marketing ploy.
Here’s an article on them-
The video addresses that as well as this quote from the article @texases linked…
its Strata-Seal self-sealing rubber compound would ensure that punctures (and the after-dark roadside repairs they prompted) were a thing of the past.
They do, indeed, claim to seal punctures with this “Strata-Seal”
Ah, self sealing. Various manufacturers have offered self sealing designs.
My guess is they did not perform as well as the advertising suggested.
What, what? A 61 Olds for $600? And I canceled my Hemmings subscription. I’ve got that many hundred dollar bills in my glove box or cubby hole as Mom used to say.
Anyone remember the nylon belted tires that would go thump thump thump after sitting on a cold night due to flat spots?
Some of the Chrysler 300 cars came with Continental self sealing tires.
About 12 years ago a co-worker showed me a ContiSeal tire and asked me how he was supposed to patch the tire with all that tar inside?
“Just remove the nail” I told him, it is self sealing.